Hyderabad: The first batch of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, containing 1,50,000 doses, landed in Hyderabad from Moscow on 1 May. Another three million doses of the vaccine are scheduled to arrive this month.

The vaccines will be delivered to Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, which has joined hands with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to produce Sputnik V in India.

Before the doses are handed over for vaccination, the Indian partner of the Russian vaccine will seek mandatory approval from the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli.

On 13 April, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had approved the use of Sputnik V in the country making India the 60th country to approve the Russia-made vaccine.

Sputnik V, based on human adenoviral vectors, is one of three vaccines (other two are Pfizer and Moderna) that have an efficacy of over 90 per cent against the coronavirus disease, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2.

The two-dose vaccine, which has to be administered 21 days apart, has been developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and is supported by the Russian sovereign wealth fund, Russian Direct Investment Fund or RDIF.

Besides Sputnik V, the drugs controller has given its approval to Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield which is being produced by Serum Institute of India (SII).

The Central government said that it has so far provided more than 16.33 crore vaccine doses to states and Union Territories free of cost and over one crore doses are still available with the states/UTs that are yet to be administered. In addition, the states and UTs will receive more than 19 lakh doses in the next three days, the government has said.

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